Hi All ~ Picked up my new girl about one month ago. She's four years old and has shown sucessfully and because of her confirmation and wonderful nurturing personality became part of the breeder's breeding stock. She's spent a lot of time in crates traveling and mothering her pups but now she's getting used to being a spoiled "only pup" retiree. My other B's have almost seemed to house break themselves but then my Mom was home with them all day. Mom has passed on and it's now just me and my new dog. I work 3 days a week and because they are long days, new pup goes to day care; she seems to poop at the daycare facility. I know that Basenjis generally hate to go out in the rain for any reason and because I'm an older owner, I would prefer to let the pup use my fully fenced and secure yard for the bathroom (after all, winter with it's darkness and ice is on the way - you can't fool me!). I would like to somehow get the pup to tell me when she needs to poop or pee so I can let her out (I'm anal.... I may not go out with the pup but I stand by the door and watch my pup at all times). Any ideas on house training our wiley B's would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
I'm not clear on the "problem". Is she defecating in the house? Usually you can tell when a house trained dog wants to go out, as even if they haven't been taught a clear signal they get restless, perhaps run to the door or whine. If she isn't house trained (at 4 years old??), you need to be observant and get her out if she shows signs of needing to go, and crate her when you can't observe her. Take her out immediately when you release her from the crate. She should get the idea, but with a Basenji you may have to accompany her outside, particularly in inclement weather. They can be stubborn when it's raining! In difficult cases, i.e. she refuses to defecate, using a match may solve the problem.
I forget if you said, but what kennel is she from? Have you talked to her breeder? Show dogs are most certainly house-broken and crate trained.
Trying to house-train an adult dog requires that you forget it is an adult. Start at the boring beginning. The dog is crated, actively watched, or tethered to you at all times. You take out as soon as the dog wakes up, take her out about every 4 hrs, after every meal. You take wonderful SMALL treats and make a happy song of joy and treat proclaiming GOOD POOPY as if she were putting out diamonds.
Teaching to signal is actually easy. Get a bell.
Find a toy, hold it, gently touch her nose to it saying TOUCH, and give her a treat. Keep repeating until she touches on her own. Do sever times a day until she has it down.
Hang the bell. Say TOUCH, and when she does, praise, take outside to potty. She's now getting praise to touch the bell AND for pottying.
Eventually, she'll touch for a treat even though she doesn't have to go potty. Until you have her totally housebroken, you have 2 options... either take her out, or move the bell out of touch reach for a couple of hours after she has actually pottied.
Mary's directions are better than mine.
She might not tell you because she'd rather hold it than go out. They can have amazing control. The suggestion to find out what her prior routine was is excellent. Once you know that you can structure the routine so she'll understand what is expected.
The only thing I'll add is that, if it's time for bed and you think/know she needs to go out, my suggestion would be to start by going out with her, prepared to wait until she does her business. This might take a while at first, but it's a good investment. Once she figures out that the fastest way back to get back into the house is to pee and/or poop, the process shouldn't take more than a minute. And as with any behavior, treats are always a tactical advantage.